I’ll never forget the day my parents found out I was using cannabis.
I was sixteen, and as you might imagine, they weren’t too thrilled. I tried my best to hide it from them, but I could only keep it up for so long. It was out in the open, and I had to face punishment like any kid who broke the rules.
Now that I’m grown, out on my own and earning a living, my parents don’t care if I light up. They know it’s my choice as an adult and trust me to keep my family afloat regardless of whether cannabis is in the picture.
Not a Negative Thing
They don’t criticize me for using or writing about it, because it’s not a negative thing in my life.
For some, continuous marijuana use can become negative if they spend all their money on it or lack the motivation to do anything but smoke all day.
The stereotype of the lazy marijuana smoker does not represent the common user, who can be just as productive as anyone else, but a minority of smokers do get lazy or decide not to go out and make an income to support their lifestyle.
My family accepts my cannabis use. Other users, no matter how productive or filled with life they are, aren’t so lucky. Their family doesn’t agree with their lifestyle and will take any opportunity to criticize or put them down for it.
I’ve never experienced this, but when talking with people who have, I’m always told they don’t understand why their family treats them so badly for smoking a plant.
Before proceeding, I should state my opinion that some parents have every reason to be upset with their son or daughter if a habit is preventing them from getting a job or doing anything but sitting on the couch.
This doesn’t apply to medicinal cannabis users with serious conditions that prevent them from living their life. Criticizing someone in that case would be coldhearted. But it does apply to the smokers who have no direction or feed off their families because they don’t want to work.
Read ahead if you don’t consider yourself that kind of user but your family still criticizes you.
A New Perspective
Ignoring for this article that some people are just hateful (whether family or not), we should look at this issue from another perspective. Different generations have different values and views on the world, but in every generation, you’ll find people who are for and against marijuana.
In every generation, you’ll find people who do and don’t exemplify the typical hippy and people who do and don’t overindulge in drink, drugs, and sex. Basically, everyone is different.
This might sound silly, but what to you is a harmless and even beneficial natural substance could, to your mother, father or even brother and sister, be a dangerous drug they don’t want anywhere near them.
This is the result of nearly a century of propaganda that brainwashed several generations into considering marijuana as bad as heroin, and I agree that we should fight it instead of accepting it.
But in doing so, we’ll see that most anti-marijuana crusaders have a deep, almost religious belief that it’s bad. It could be the same for your family; they could believe wholeheartedly that it will send you down a negative path.
The ridiculousness of the idea that cannabis is dangerous can help you develop empathy for your family when you realize how much of a conviction it is for them. It can also help you see that in most cases, they’re not purposely being mean or trying to belittle you. They genuinely think what you’re doing is bad for you and could mess up your life.
Prove Them Wrong
So, what can you do? You can not only develop compassion and the understanding that they’re trying to help you in their own strange way; you can prove them wrong by living a successful, healthy life despite consistent cannabis use.
You can help them see that the herb doesn’t inhibit a motivated, successful life. Nor does it solely cause inspiration or success.
Do you think people like Bob Marley found success just from smoking marijuana? They pushed themselves and worked harder than most ordinary people. Marley exercised daily to maintain his energy, inspiration, and love for life. He also worked insanely long hours, sacrificing himself for his craft.
He wasn’t the only one, and you can join the ranks of inspired, successful cannabis users if you’re willing to work hard and extend yourself. So get out there and prove cannabis doesn’t prevent success.
Don’t Hold It Against Them
Once your point is made, you don’t have to rub it in or be petty. You don’t even have to say a word about it; you can let your success speak for itself.
If they still criticize you, it will still come from the same misguided yet well-meaning place. Don’t hold it against them. Instead, try something revolutionary: accept them for it like you wish they would accept you. As the cliché goes, be the change you want to see.
Being open to what they have to say could mean the world to them and help them eventually consider your perspective. Try to live and let live as you prove to your family and the rest of the world that there’s nothing wrong with using cannabis, and never let the herb (or anything else) diminish your potential.
About the author:
I run The Culture of Awareness, a daily news blog dedicated to raising social and spiritual awareness and supporting the evolution of the planet.
I also have a personal blog, Openhearted Rebel, in which I share writings related to spiritual philosophy, creativity, heart consciousness and revolution (among other topics).
I write from the heart and try to share informative and enlightening reading material with the rest of the conscious community. When I’m not writing or exploring nature, I’m usually making music.